Thursday, June 26, 2008

There's gonna be a change!

We in the Crosby clan are completely excited! We have been anticipating this type of change for months now. Looks like I am about 5 wks along, and will be due toward the end of February...27th ish.

Along with excited, I am completely terrified. I must confess that I am a worrier. I come by it naturally, as it seems to run in my family, really bums me out. I worry about time, money, debt, jobs, etc.....

BUT- Hear me now. I have faith. I serve a powerful God who has complete control of my family's lives even if I do not. He will provide what we need, and make straight our path. I believe this with all of my heart.

It's going to be a long nine months, and I am hoping for a more tolerable pregnancy this time around. Most of you might remember how dreadfully moody and depressed I was last time, not to mention...FAT. I feel and have prayed that this will be the "redemption" pregnancy. It will regain all my faith that pregnancies aren't all bad. :) Keep me in your prayers, too, folks and I will absolutely appreciate it.

NOW... I may be setting myself up for a let down, but I believe this one is going to be my girl. My sweet little ball of fluff, bows, and rambunctious ribbon! We have been tossing around names ( we already know if it's a boy it will be Luc Andre) and are noticing that we have no common ground. There is only one, maybe two, names that we both agree on. We both like Claire, but Andre doesn't want two C's (Cash and Claire) He's not into that, which is sad since it's been on my list FOREVER, and we both like it. He likes Grace, and I am a fan of Grace,but for some reason dont think it fits.

Here's the point. We need ideas. Throw them out there people. Let me know what you are thinking. I like all kinds....old fashioned, odd, short, long...we aren't fond of trendy names, though. No Sophia, Madeline, or Olivia. ( Let me also state that I actually love these names, or did before I couldn't turn a corner in the burbs without running into one.) So give us what you got. :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Alchemist

I have an inkling to write, but I am not sure what to write about. What's truly on my mind is a bit too personal to broadcast, so I am kind of at a loss. This brings me to the idea that I should use a writing strategy ( Ah HA!) that I teach my students to use. Genius. Let's see if any of these strategies actually produce anything blog worthy. :) "Writing off of Literature" is the chosen strategy for the day, so here we go...

Anyone ever heard of the book, The Alchemist? This was Erika's pick for book club last month. I had heard of it before, but I didn't realize how popular this book was. Or how widely spread this publication was. It's sold over 65 million copies in 150 countries, and is one of the best selling books in history. Wow. I had no idea. Having read all of that information on the front cover, I was really intrigued to read it and find out what all the fuss was about.

What I found was that within the confines of this book, there was no fuss. Yes, this was a brilliant book, but brilliant in a simple way. I suppose that is why it has become so popular. It's a book that anyone can read and take something away from. The ideas are not complex, and it's quite an easy read. I read it over a span of two days, and enjoyed it immensely.

The story follows a boy, Santiago, through his journey to find his "personal legend." This might be considered what we today call our "dream" or "life purpose," but I found that the more I read about Santiago the more I really liked calling it a personal legend. It kind of gives it a mythical quality, and to some that might make it seem unattainable, but to me it lends itself more to adventure.

Santiago travels across the desert, and finds himself in many different situations. At every destination he finds reasons, logical, good reasons, to stop his journey. He could create a life where he is and be comfortable. However, he treads on knowing that he will regret in the end if he doesn't continue seeking. He uses omens to guide him, and learns how to integrate himself into the nature of the world. He learns to allow his heart to speak to him, and he learns to truly know his heart.

As I read, I began thinking about my own "personal legend." Was I seeking it? Had it been fulfilled? I had a feeling of "Is this it?" pertaining to my own professional life. I know that teaching is something that I enjoy and I am good at it. I know that my heart is with these urban kids. But AM I fulfilled? Santiago found things that he was good at and enjoyed, but they weren't his personal legend. There was something more for him. Is there more for me? I guess in a way, it kind of woke me up out of a coma of daily routine. What have I been doing for that last nine years? Where am I going in the next nine? Will I be happy if I end those next nine in the same place? It's really a lot to ask yourself, and it's not always a pleasant conversation, if you are brutally honest.

There is a deep spiritual side to this book, and I was glad to see that. Again, I could parallel my life with Santiago. I am learning to relax and know that I may have these questions about my own life. I know that if it is something I seek God's guidance in, I will find the answers to my questions. God will lead me on to the next destination even if I feel fine where I am at. Looking back, I can see He has already done this numerous times. I just wasn't paying enough attention, and maybe that is just it. Maybe that is how Santiago became so connected with the earth and her elements. By sheer observation and allowing himself to be completely aware of his environment. I know by nature, I am not extremely observant. There is a tendency in my life to focus on what is right in front of me, to let the rest of the world become a blur around me. I realize now, that there is a need for me to make a conscious effort to change this. I want to see beyond me.

Along with Santiago, I took a journey myself while reading this book. I don't know all the answers, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't question. It just means I should use God's path to discover what's next, and understand that the walk will make me stronger once I am there.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

So What Am I Doing?

It's late. I can't be held accountable for what this blog may say. This is my disclaimer.

It's the second day of spring break. I am starting to think that I could totally get use to this "Stay at home mom" business. As long as I could create a schedule full of outings, so I wouldn't go stir crazy...sure I could do it.

BUT...would I miss my crazy kids at school? Probably a little. Would I miss my strongly binded school based friendships that I have spent so long cultivating? Absolutely. Would I be doing a disservice to myself to be letting go of a gift that God bestowed on me? (teaching) I dont know. I would like to think, I mean, I know that my child is more important. Obviously, but would I be able to be the mother that I am if part of me disappeared? That I do not know. Is any of this a real issue since I will never be a stay at home mom? NOPE.

Sorry. I am rambling. It's 12:15 in the am, and I can't sleep. I have ten million things going on in my head, and it's creating quite the wall between me and my dreams. I am thinking about how much I want another child. How I hope this will be the month. How I dont understand why it's taking so long this time, since I only had to think pregnant before I became pregnant with Cash. I am thinking, "What is God thinking."

I am deciding what to wear tomorrow. I am already (after two days) tired of t-shirts and jeans. Since Cash and I are going to visit his dad at work for lunch, I figure it's a great time to wear my new skirt. I am debating on what color to paint my toe nails, as it's finally time for them to come out of their deep winter coma. I am wishing that my mama could be here for Easter again this year.

I am mentally renovating my home. I am mentally putting together shots for my photoblog. I am mentally planning the educational book that Lindsay and I are going to write. I am mentally getting myself ready to NOT gain 60 llbs. if I DO get pregnant. Actually, I am mentally willing myself to loose 10 llbs ASAP. Pregnant or not. Maybe I am just mental.

I am grieving over that fact that I have, at least 8 good hours of homework that must be done before this week is over. I am thinking over the pro's and con's of a subaru vs. a volvo wagon. I am trying to decide on the significance of the dream I had the other night that put me back in high school with Tyler Goodlad. Seriously, TYLER GOODLAD. What the heck?

Ok, I am thinking that you get it. I cant sleep. Mind going, literally, 90 miles an hour. Me hoping typing out my train of thought will somehow zap it all out of me, and I will once again be able to join Tyler Goodlad for lunch (platonic, of course) in my dreams. :)

Wishing you all a better night's rest...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Mini-Break for the Family!

Andre and I packed up our little Altima, and took Cash on a road trip up to Cincinnati. Erin lives there with her husband, Kevin, and their little girl, Lucie. We hadn't had the chance to meet Lucie yet, nor had they met Cash. We planned a grand introduction.

I had been very, very excited about this trip. The last time we saw Erin and Kevin was when I was pregnant with Cash, almost two years ago. It seems crazy that someone I use to see every single day, hadn't been in my sight for so very long.

Erin and I have had a weird relationship in a way. We have definitely hurt each other in immature ways. Not necessarily meaning too, but doing it non the less. However, I feel like we have both grown up a lot in the last few years, and I have come to appreciate her friendship. There is a chemistry among the two of us, that doesn't present itself in many of my other friendships. We have the same sense of humor, like the same movies and music, and we just kind of "get" each other. It's just easy to be around her. We never sit in silence because we always have something to talk about. And we laugh. We laugh hard.

We went up on Friday afternoon, and returned Monday. We had a great time. We were able to spend some time with Kevin, Erin's husband, and get to know him a little better. He seems like a really cool guy, and I think he is good for Erin. They compliment each other very well. There was a trip to the Creation Museum and the yarn store. (You can see more pictures on my photoblog.) We had game night with Erin's brother, sister, and some friends. Loads of Wii playing, which left both me and Andre wanting more. More than anything, though, I just really enjoyed hanging out with an old friend. It was familiar and comforting, both are things that I have really been needing lately.

Cash and Lucie were introduced, and they seemed to like each other. Lucie is such a cutie! She keep her eyes on Cash the whole time, and Cash was extremely pleasant the whole weekend. No whining, he slept well, ate well, and just had fun. (He normally gets a little cranky on trips.)

All in all, it was a winner of a weekend. I wish they lived closer or lived here. I have this crazy feeling that Kevin wouldn't mind leaving KY, but I have my doubts about Erin. I would settle for a visit from them in a few months.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Crazy vs Normal

One of my fifth grade students was taken away to juvy in the back of a police car. It was a crazy day.

Taty joined my class just before Christmas. She's kind of an odd girl, always wide-eyed and sort of spacey. But she seemed nice enough, and although kind of annoying, harmless. Up until today, all I knew was that she lived in a foster home, and had just relocated to this home when she came to my school.

As the days have gone by, Taty's behavior had gotten progressively worse. She became very paranoid and argumentative with other students. There was always someone wronging her in some way, yet, she was always the one doing the talking. She began speaking to me disrespectfully and talking back when I would call her out on a behavior. Last Thursday, I had had enough and asked her to go next door to complete a behavior form. To make a long story short...she refused and the vice principal had to escort her out of my classroom. I was forced to write a referral on her. After having a bad day yesterday and a bad morning today, I figured it was time that I call her foster mom. I had assumed that the principal had already called her last week, otherwise I would have called her before this point.

I asked Taty to come back to the room with me to call her foster mom before she went into the cafeteria for lunch. We headed back to the room, sat down, and made the call. After talking to her foster mom for about two or three minutes, I realized that mom had no idea that Taty had been written up the previous week. I was really irritated that my VP hadn't called, as this makes us all look irresponsible. Nice. I begin to go into detail about what happened, and Taty starts to cry. She screams out, "I hate you!" Her anger is directed to me. She gets up, and storms out of the room. Her mom asks if she should come down to get Taty. I agree that this might be the best idea. Let Taty cool down the rest of the day and come back tomorrow ready to shape up. I get off the phone with the foster mom, and head out to find Taty.

After searching the school for thirty minutes, YES! thirty minutes, I finally find Taty. She is at the front door of the school, and she is talking to her mom who has just arrived. I can hear the mom asking her questions about her behavior. Taty looks up, and spots me. Then she gets up off of the floor she has been sitting on, and darts out the schools front doors. Fantastic.

The mom tells me that she is not going to go after her, that the police can pick her up. POLICE? She says that this is the normal protocol for this sort of thing. We go outside, and sure enough, she is no where to be found. Five minutes later, a cop car pulls up with Taty in the back seat. The police officer just happen to be driving by about a block away and saw her walking down the street. The officer called out to her, and she attempted to run from him! Imagine. He got her in the car, but not before she kicked him.

The foster mom didn't want to let her out of the car for fear of Taty trying to run again. She tells me that Taty has been in four foster homes since August. The system keeps having to place her in different homes because Taty keeps running away. The foster mom decides to call the social worker that is involved with Taty to try to help out. At this point, I had to go back inside to my own classroom. I was told later that the social worker never showed, and through one call and then another...the police were directed to take Taty to juvy.

All of this because I called a parent. I am not real sure how to feel about it all. On one hand, I really feel sorry for this little girl. She has obviously had family issues, and is acting out because of this. Then on the other hand, these are her actions and she must understand that there are consequences. Am I am horrible person for thinking that? Have I worked so long in inner city that my heart is becoming hard?

This is my fifth grade classroom. There are children who have problems with reading, and there are kids who hate math. There are masturbating selective mutes, and students who tell about their 14 year old sisters having babies. There are boys who have never met their fathers, and girls who have already had sex. There is a narcoleptic, and a southern belle. These kids make me look normal. Crazy day? Every day.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Ready to Go

It' Monday morning, and I am feeling a bit sluggish. I only had one cup of coffee this morning, rather than my usual 2 to 3. I am trying to cut back on the caffeine, and I am totally feeling it. This weekend went by all together too quickly, but it was pretty jammed with activity.

Friday night we (Andre, Cash, and I) had dinner with Ike and Amy at Market St. Tavern. It was really good to hang out with them. They are a couple that I always enjoy spending time with. We ended up back at our house for coffee and more conversation. One thing that I really love about Ike and Amy is just watching their interaction with each other. I think they are one of the sweetest couples I have ever met. It is just written all over them that they are in love. They are super considerate of each other, and just plain precious without being obnoxious. Their first baby boy will be arriving soon, and they are tremendously excited. It was a reminder of how I felt just before having Cash.

Saturday I had planned on taking Cash to Isabel's birthday party, and then on to Paula's baby shower, but plans changed at the last minute. My friend, Lynnette, came in from Nashville for the day. She has been going through some heavy stuff emotionally, and really needed some time for us to just talk. Since Lynnette is one of my two oldest friends, and my dearest, I felt like she won priority over everything else. It was good for us both to just spend time with each other. It was exactly what I needed, and hopefully what she did too. I think we both felt lighter when we parted.

Sunday arrived bringing a visiting Bishop to our church to speak. Bishop Boosada. (Interesting name, huh?) I love to hear Bishop B. speak. He kind of looks like Ted Danson, just to give you a mental image. He spoke on seeing clearly. Hearing God clearly. Afterward, we were suppose to meet another couple for lunch. We have been trying to get together with Stephen and Sarah for weeks, but we are all so busy it has been hard. Finally, we had a plan and, of course, this was the day that we got out of church super late. Luckily, they were running late, too. Anyway, it was a tasty lunch, and really nice to see them. They are another couple that we always have a great time with. They have a new born, Finn, and he is a total cutie. I wish I had more time in my life to incorporate Sarah into. We are just getting to be close, and I would love to be able to connect with her more often. She has a great heart and is a really creative person. I love her outlook on life, and her genuine care for doing what is right.

We made it home yesterday, and the weather was actually pretty nice out. We had time to play with Cash outside. He loves outside. Andre threw a frisbee around, and I took pictures of the sweetest little boy I have ever met. One of my two great loves. My husband being the second, of course.

Although physically I am a little weak, the weekend did rejuvenated me in many ways. It prepared me for this upcoming week of busy days, and short evenings. It helped me regain perspective on my local friendships, and filled my thankful heart for the longevity of other friendships. I love my husband. I love my child. I love my friends and my life. I am ready for the week.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Moving Forward

This is my 24th day working on Project:365. It's been great so far. I find myself looking at the world a little differently, wondering what would make a nice shot. There really is beauty all around us in everyday objects, and it has made me happy to become more aware of that.

Also, I found a ton of people on photoblog that are doing the same thing. It's neat to think about all of the people, in all different places in the world, in different stages of their life, all documenting their year the same way, and on the same site. It's a great site that everyone should check out! There are some amazing photographers on there, it blows my mind when they leave encouraging comments on my little photos.

Here are a couple of my favorites so far. The top one is a puddle reflection and the bottom one is the sky from my yard.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Do I know you?

We were sitting in Reynolds's classroom talking while Reynolds cleaned up.She and Dunn were going to see a movie once they left. Delk and I sat at the horseshoe table, and watched Reynolds scurry around the room apologizing for a classroom in disarray. Dunn was anxiously fidgeting with her scarf and coat, only stopping to check her watch. She didn't want to be late. Someone mentioned class on Saturday, and it jolted Dunn's memory. She wanted us to go with her to see 27 Dresses after class. I really wanted to go see this movie, as it is a chic flick and there was no way I would get Andre to take me, but I already had plans to meet some old college friends for lunch. I began my attempt to persuade Dunn to change the date.

Every option that Dunn presented was an option that didn't seem to work for me and my schedule. I finally concluded that this was not going to happen, and I absolved the girls of their obligation to include me on their outing.

Here is where I started thinking.

"You've got too many friends!" Casey shouted to me.

This isn't an odd or profound statement, yet it resided with me. I began thinking a lot about it. Do I have a lot of friends? If I have a lot of friends, why are there periods of time that go by and I feel so alone? It's kind of weird. I mean, I do have a lot of friends. I have school friends, college friends, couple friends, book club friends, friends I grew up with...I spend time with all of these people. I laugh with these people. I talk with these people. I dance with these people. Yet, I wonder if these people really know who I am.

It's quite possible that my melancholy disposition enables me to be a little more dramatic when thinking about this, but there is something to it. How many people really know me? There are lots of folks out there who know parts of me, but mostly it seems like they only know what is laid out on the surface. The stuff that can be scooped up easily, and molded into a piece that fits the niche they have carved out for me. This is kind of a lonely feeling.

Andre knows me, as much as a man can really understand and know a woman. He is my best friend, and I share everything that I am able to share with him. However,I am talking about another realm. Friends. Girlfriends. Part of why I feel like this is because I have always had a sidekick, for a lack of a better word. Growing up it was Lynnette and Becky, college gave me Cindy, Becky Lee, and Kathy, post college time was spent with Erin. Now I am all grown up, a changed person from my youth, and those friends are far away.

I suppose I miss having the sidekick. Realistically, there isn't time for a sidekick. I have family, work, school...but I do miss having a friend that I call or she calls me on a daily basis. Just to chat, talk about what's going on in our domesticated lives. Someone to meet for wine night at Mudpie, someone to yard sale with, someone to craft with, someone to shop at Target with. I miss that intimate interaction that comes from being so close with a friend that you can just hang out at home, doing nothing, and it seems like the best time in the world. I feel like I dont know anyone well enough to do those things with.

My friends that I spend time with now are great. Lovely women who care for me, and I for them. They are people that I would love to get to know better, and allow them to actually know me, too. But we aren't there yet, and this is something that one can't force. All of this leaves me with a small void.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Project 365

Here is the link for my photo project. I will also put in the links on the side bar. Check it out.

Friday, January 4, 2008

First Two of Many

It's the fourth of January and I already have two projects in the works. I have been wanting to learn how to crochet, so I downloaded some instructions. It's Friday (payday), and I am going to get some yarn and needles to begin. A lot of my friends are either pregnant, or have just had a baby, so my first attempt will be at a baby blanket. Hopefully, this will prove to be a good beginner project. Here is the blanket that I will be giving a go at.
I will let you know how it works out.

My second project that I have actually already begun is called Project 365. Having always been a big fan of photography, I have a Photojojo link on my Google Reader. (Which I totally implore everyone to check out, as it is fantastic.) I saw this this project when reading an article on New Year's Photo Resolutions.
I really have no skills when it comes to photography, but I want to seriously try to increase my knowledge in this arena. SO...Project 365. I will take a picture a day for the entire year of 2008. This is a big undertaking, but I want to do it. I decided this yesterday, and it just so happened that I had taken a picture on the 1st and 2nd of January. They weren't great, as I imagine not many of my photos will be, but at least I can say that I do have photos for everyday. I am in the process of creating a site to post these pictures, so I will add the link when it is set. This project is meant to get me thinking more about how to take pictures, and to get to know my camera a little better. It will also chronicle my days in 2008.

I am excited. This is good.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Years Day Brunch

Host and hostess

Games after brunch.

My sticky buns are a bit lopsided, but delicious none the less. (There is cream cheese in the middle! yum.)

Our first annual New Years Day Brunch.

We started the New Year in a fantastic way, with good food and good friends. Loads of laughing and even more eating.
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